There is a secret that most anthropologists use in their study of different customs and cultures. That secret is the fact that regardless of how much you try to lessen the impact of your presence on your environment, you still change things just by being there. People will react differently around you. Animals will behave different than they normally would because you are there. Even if you try to hide your presence you are still affecting things around you. Wind has to change course because you are there displacing air. Even light reflects differently because you are there. You can’t change that. What you CAN change is HOW you affect things. You have two options. You can either make a positive or a negative impact. Just by keeping a positive attitude or making an improvement in the surroundings generate waves of the same type of energy all around you. Being negative will do the same, just with the opposite effect. Now some people do not care how their actions change their surroundings, because they make their changes and move on, never having to deal with the results. Some people do not realize they are changing things, and some wear blinders to how much change they cause (and a lot of times it does no good to try to explain it). I figure if I am going to make an impact on my surroundings, I want it to be a positive one. As long as we do that, life can get better for everyone. This is what Jesus was teaching with the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. When you do this, you improve not only your life, but everyone and everything around you. So why not make a positive impact?
I had originally planned to do a blog post in honor of Mother’s Day, and I do salute and honor all of those who choose to be a mother, but I feel like God wanted me to write a different post. Just lately I’ve seen a lot of articles and things on abused animals, and animal attacks. As I started thinking about today’s post those things came to the forefront of my mind (Yes, contrary to popular belief I have a mind. I do tend to misplace it from time to time, but I have one.). An animal is forced to adapt to it’s surroundings to survive, even to the point of changing genders to keep their species alive. There are recorded cases all through the scientific community of animals adapting to their environment. It doesn’t stop there, though. The Social behavior of an animal is also based on survival. Mistreated animals will adapt an attitude that will ensure the best survival possible. If you give a dog two pieces of meat, one chicken and one ham, and then beat it every time it eats the ham, it will eventually stop eating ham. It may still eat sausage, or other pork products, but it will flat out refuse to eat the ham. If you smack a cat every time it gets on the table, eventually it won’t get on the table. But the human being is different in these cases. A human has the ability to reason, to think out these situations. That gives him options and choices. Every day, in every situation we have choices. Some of them with foreseeable consequences, and some not so much, but the choices we make affects our lives. And not just on the physical level either. The spiritual and emotional levels are also tied to it. We may not be able to see all the ramifications of those choices. I guess what I am trying to say is that your choices don’t just affect you, but everyone and everything around you. So make good ones.
When I was a kid, we had a Shetland pony named Sugar. That pony was a master escape artist if I ever saw one. A regular Houdini. We constantly had to find her, catch her and put her back in her pen. What kept us scratching our heads was the fact that we could never find where she was getting out. And she was smart enough that you never saw her when she did. Years passed as they tend to do, and Sugar got old. Her days of pony rides for the youngsters were over and she became the family pet. Useful for soaking up stray affection and disposing of treats, but even then she had the uncanny ability to escape her pen. We would come home from school to find her wandering around grazing, doing whatever she pleased. Eventually her eyesight began to fail. Unto this day, I swear that that is the only reason I ever discovered her ‘secret.’ I was standing outside petting our bulldog, and I just happen to be where I could see Sugar’s pen. Knowing her eyesight was bad (she was practically blind really) I realized she didn’t know I was watching her. I had to pick my jaw up off the ground as I watched. That pony took off at a dead run straight toward her fence. I just knew a trip to the vet was going to ensue. Now her fence was made from barbed-wire, two strands nailed about two feet apart and about two feet off the ground. It was a fairly formidable barrier for a pony, with the top strand set about eye-level with her. But Sugar had no fear and barreled straight toward it. I started to call out, but I never got the chance. Just as she reached the fence (I will never forget this sight as long as I live) she dropped onto her belly and skidded forward, dipping her head at the same time, and turning it just enough to get under the bottom strand of wire. Then she slid her hind section on out by pulling herself forward with her front legs. It was amazing. I know I have people staring blankly at the computer screen and thinking “what a liar”, but I swear it’s true. After she managed to free herself, I walked over and caught her by the halter, walked her back to the gate and put her back up. I’ve known there was a lesson there somewhere, but I never really discovered it until I relayed the story to my lovely wife today. A lot of times we are like horses. Our world is only as big as people tell us it is. We only do ‘so much’ because we believe that is all that is possible. That fence represented what kind of life other people think is possible for us, what dreams we can dream and what jobs we can pursue. That half-blind Shetland pony proved to me that day that you are only limited in your achievements by what you let limit you. Are you living the life you want, or are you letting yourself be fenced in by what other people are telling you?
A friend of mine recently asked me if I believe that animals go to heaven. Those of you that have been following my blog for a while now already know my thoughts on that. Even so, I thought I would do a retro-post this week for those new folks that haven’t glanced at my archived stuff. This seemed like the perfect time for it.
(Repost of the Original titled Pet Cemetery)
Jesus never spoke on animals having souls. He never says anything about whether or not animals go to Heaven, and this concerns some people. I used to believe that animals didn’t have souls, but I may have found an alternative theory that I just recently thought about. I have no Biblical passages to back up the theory, but I don’t know of any Biblical Truths that it would violate either. I believe that there are BOTH animals with and without souls. Here is my theory. When a person takes an animal into their homes, they in effect begin to invest in that animal. Be it from birth or later on in life. The longer that animals stay with that particular person, the more that person invests a part of themselves in that animal. But WHAT exactly are you investing into those animals? Is it time? Love? Regardless of what it is you are investing, I think maybe it is a little bit of your soul that you are giving. Regardless of whether it is a dark or light part. I don’t think you diminish your soul by doing this. I think maybe you enhance it in some cases. In effect maybe your animal does become a part of your family, and maybe it will rejoin you in Heaven. I’m not really certain, but it sounds plausible. What do you think?